Oldtimer – 2008-11-09 8:00 AM
Thanks, guys. This thread has been very instructive. But it’s broken my heart, too. You see, I have dreamed for years of the day when my impeccably typed manuscript, in its snowy-white two-inch three-ring binder arrived at the office of a prestigious publisher. No slush pile for this beauty! I can still see the harassed editor push aside all the must-be-done-today paperwork and stretch out eager hands to receive it. Then she would start to read. Telephone calls go unanswered. Coffee cups lie unsipped. Everything stops as, mesmerised by my soaring imagination, she reads through page after page, unable to put it down. I hear her cry “Oh, Dorothy! How could you!” and weep uncontrollably when my MC dies, and join in the hysterical laughter when a survivor of the asteroid’s impact, plucked from the tumult by a man-sized bat, realises that the creature licking her hand is a forlorn, pygmy goat. Late into the night she reads, until the evening stars descend and the security officer gently taps her on the shoulder. “Sorry, ma’am,” he says. “We need to turn the lights out.” Aah, yes, fellow forumites. I’m a lot wiser now. But way sadder, too. In fact, I feel quite depressed, knowing that my wonderful scenario is never going to happen. I need some consolation. Quite a lot of it. Umm, no chocolate bars in the fridge. No icecream – the kids ate the last one yesterday. Boo hoo hoo.
LOL You’re a riot, Dorothy. Thanks for the laugh. But leave some chocolate for the rest of us! Believe me, I always had a very similar fantasy before reality set in.
It reminds me of a great story in Stephen King’s wonderful book On Writing in which he repeats the first bit of editorial feedback he ever got: Don’t staple the manuscript!